BFGoodrich Tires dominates the Baja 1000 podium and wins 14 SCORE Baja 1000 Classes
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of the SCORE Desert Racing Series, won its 25th overall SCORE Baja 1000 title, with Team BFGoodrich member Andy McMillin and his father Scott McMillin taking turns at the wheel. The McMillins finished the race in 14 hours and 51 minutes, averaging 47.12 miles per hour throughout the course. Their victory on BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR tires marks BFGoodrich Tires’ 25th win in the last 26 years. BFGoodrich Tires also claimed eight of the top 10 overall spots.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better finish to the 2011 SCORE Baja 1000 or a better weekend overall,” said Silvia Mammone, motorsports marketing manager, BFGoodrich Tires. “We are thrilled with the McMillins’ overall win, Bryce Menzies’ SCORE Trophy Truck championship and Nick Vanderwey’s second place podium finish, running for the first time on the 42-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A tires. Congratulations to the drivers who finished what looked to be one of the toughest Baja races in history. We are not only celebrating their individual accomplishments but also the 25th win for BFGoodrich Tires.”
The finish to the 44th Annual SCORE Baja 1000 was one of the closest in recent memory. Throughout the last 300 miles, Andy McMillin (No.31 Ford Raptor), Nick Vanderwey (No. 84 Chevy Silverado) and Bryce Menzies (No.70 Ford F-150) were trading places and rubbing bumpers. Vanderwey was first to the finish line, but McMillin came in less than two minutes behind and earned the victory with the corrected times. Menzies was third to the finish line, two minutes behind McMillin.
“That was the most intense race I've ever been a part of. I was 30 seconds to them, and Bryce was 30 seconds to me on the beach. It was a freight-train free-for-all. It was such a blast. It was so much fun. I'm glad to win my second Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 with my dad. It means a lot,” said Team BFGoodrich member Andy McMillin.
Vanderwey was the only truck in the race to run on the 42-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/AKR tires. Moments after Scott McMillin thanked BFGoodrich Tires at the post-race press conference, Vanderwey said, “Well, I had the awesomest tires — I had the 42-inch BFGs on 20-inch TrailReady wheels. What a race — holy moly! It was intense racing. We just hit so many rocks. It was unbelievable what these tires will take.”
Bryce Menzies earned the SCORE Trophy Truck championship with his third place finish, capping off an incredible year for the SCORE rookie. Menzies started strong with a win in January at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge and won his first ever SCORE Baja 500 in June.
Don Moss and his Class 3 team, other winners running on BFGoodrich tires, marked their 36th SCORE race win, third race win this season and eighth Class 3 win in this race. For Dan Chamlee, this race also marked his fifth Class 7 victory in this race and third race win in his class this season. Finishing a career-best fifth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck, Clyde Stacy and Juan Carlos Lopez (No.18 RPM Off-Road Chevy Silverado) finished in 15:40:38.
The Team BFGoodrich Wide Open Excursions race buggy piloted by Joel Weinberger, Super Touring U (STU)-class Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Runoffs champion; Brad and Roger Lovell, six-time rock-crawling champions; Andrew Comrie-Picard, X Games SuperRally bronze medalist and 2009 North American rally champion; Kyle Tucker, custom car designer; and Bud Brutsman, Hollywood producer, faced an epic battle throughout the race. After mechanical problems at RM 168, the team was able to make a comeback thanks to an amazing chase crew and finish sixth in Class 10.
A Family Race – Six Members of the McMillin Family Ran Baja This Year on BFGoodrich Tires
This year’s race also capped off the most spectacular SCORE race in the McMillin family’s 36-year history of SCORE desert racing. Mark’s youngest son Luke McMillin, with driving assistance from Justin Smith, won Class 1/2-1600 for the second time this season and the first time in this race to secure the season point championship in his class for the second straight year in an AlumiCraft-VW. Scott McMillin’s daughter, Jessica McMillin, 26, (No.1331 McMillin Realty Ford F-150) overcame an early rollover near Ojos Negros to finish the season undefeated with five wins with her victory Saturday in the Pro Truck class. She was the only SCORE racer this season to win her class in all five SCORE Desert Series races. Jessica, Andy, Daniel and Luke McMillin are all third-generation SCORE desert racers, continuing the lasting legacy left by family patriarch Corky McMillin, who passed away in 2006. Jessica McMillin also earned the SCORE Pro Truck class championship for the season.
An Unexpected Delay
The start of the 44th Annual SCORE Baja 1000 was delayed about an hour due to a semi-truck that broke down on the race course at race mile four. By the time the semi truck was spotted, 13 Trophy Trucks had already left the start line. Once the semi-truck was moved from the race course, the remaining Trophy Trucks were paraded out to race mile four and restarted. The finishing percentage this year was a strong 55.76 percent considering the intense degree of difficulty of the bone-crushingly rocky terrain and the unique ruggedness of the course.
The following is a complete list of BFGoodrich Tires 2011 SCORE Baja 1000 class winners:
- SCORE Trophy Truck – No. 31 Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin
- Class 1/2-1600 – No. 1600 Luke McMillin/Justin Smith
- Class 3 – No. 300 Donald Moss/Ken Moss
- Class 5 – No. 518 Jim Anderson/Rick Boyer/Mike Belk
- Class 5-1600 – No. 551 Jeffery Smith/Justin Herrmann/Eric Sheets
- Class 6 – No. 617 Josh Quintero/Chris Taylor
- Class 7 – No. 700 Dan Chamlee/Tom Chamlee/Daniel Chamlee
- Class 10 – No. 1008 Christian Hall/Jerry Penhall/Mark Talla
- SCORE Lite – No. 1248 Lee Banning/Lee Banning Jr./ Rick Graf
- Class 11 – No. 1149 Justin Matney/Jerome Miltier/Ramon Fernandez
- Stock Full –No. 861 Wes Bevly III/Bryan Groesbeck/Chad Bunch
- Pro Truck – No. 1331 Jessica McMillin/ Hector Cuadras/Chris Andrews
- Class 7-2 – No. 720 Reid Rutherford/Danny Thompson/Benn Vernadakis
- Class 4 – No. 402 Tony Miglini/Jason Hart/Mike Shatynski
BFGoodrich Tires drivers earned eight of the top 10 overall four-wheel spots:
- SCORE Trophy-Truck – No.31 Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin
- SCORE Trophy-Truck – No.84 Nick Vanderwey/Curt LeDuc/Larry Vanderwey
- SCORE Trophy-Truck – No.70 Bryce Menzies/Ricky Johnson
- SCORE Trophy-Truck – No.23 Mark McMillin/Daniel McMillin/Chuck Hovey
- SCORE Trophy-Truck – No.18 Clyde Stacy/Juan Carlos Lopez/Justin Matney
- SCORE Trophy-Truck – No.54 Jesse James
- Class 1 – No.111 Ronny Wilson/John Herder
- SCORE Trophy-Truck – No.10 Ken Losch/Greg Nunley
44th Annual SCORE Baja 1000 Information
For the 37th time, the 692.82-mile course started in Ensenada and finished, for the 21st time, in Ensenada, extending over one of the most rugged courses in history through Baja, Calif. The race boasted 278 entries from 34 states and 16 countries that competed in 36 Pro and seven Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. It is the oldest and best known of all desert races, and it remains the single most meaningful accomplishment for drivers. Since 1967, the preeminent desert race has been run over the mysterious and challenging Baja, Calif., peninsula, except in 1974 when the international fuel crisis forced a cancellation.